Monthly Archives: August 2015

Maxime Rooney

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Maxime holding his FINA World Junior Championships gold medal with dad Kennan and relative Annette Ompad Ycong in Singapore (photo courtesy of Maxime’s grandma, Mrs. Amy Radaza Jessup)

Though his family name sounds foreign, Maxime Rooney is half-Filipino. His father, Kennan Rooney, is pure Pinoy. Kennan’s mother is Radaza — she’s Mrs. Amy R. Jessup, the older sister of former congressman Arturo “Boy” Radaza.

Who is Maxime Rooney? Well, let’s just say that he broke two swimming world records this month. Yes, no mistyping there. Maxime broke the world junior record in the 200-meter freestyle. He clocked a super fast 1:47.10 time for the 200m. Then, while swimming in a relay team last Friday, he broke another junior world record with his three other teammates.

This performance is stunning because the South East Asian Games record in the same 200m distance is 1:47.79. This was achieved just last June by Singaporean Joseph Isaac Schooling.

What this means is, had Maxime joined the SEA Games and clocked the same time, he would have won gold and set the all time SEA Games record.

To add to Maxime’s record-shattering feat (he achieved this at the US Nationals last August 7), he joined the 2015 FINA World Junior Championships. This, too, was held in Singapore this week.

The result? The same medal color. Gold. Maxime defeated all the world’s best junior swimmers with a time of 1:47.78.

I talk about Maxime because I’m dreaming of him representing the Philippines all the way to the Olympics. Five years from now during the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Maxime will be 22 years old — the perfect age to medal in the Olympics.

But there’s a problem: Given how he’s performed and how he’s been developed and nurtured by Americans, it’s a long, long, long shot that he’ll switch nationalities and swim for us.

As far back as 2012, I wrote about Maxime. It was Lapu-Lapu City Councilor Harry Radaza, the uncle of Maxime, who first informed me about his celebrated nephew. The then 14-year-old Maxime was breaking age group records in California and in the entire America. Maybe, during that time when Maxime was not as popular and accomplished as he is now — maybe, the Philippines could have requested him to represent the Philippine flag. (Maxime is a dual citizen of both the U.S. and the Phils.)

But now, I believe it’s too late.

In that July 2012 article that I wrote, the piece was entitled, “The Michael Phelps of the Philippines?” That was three years ago when Maxime was still growing, physically and mentally. Now, he’s stronger, faster, bigger. He is, given the results, a potential “next Michael Phelps.” The problem is, I don’t think the country named “U.S.A.” will let go of someone they’ve cultivated and nourished.

Going back to the Olympics, next year it’s Brazil. I checked the qualifying time for the U.S. team and, if I read it correctly, it’s 1:51.89 — much slower than Maxime’s time. I checked further the Olympic Qualifying Time (OQT), the quota time to join the Olympics, and it’s 1:47.97.

Maxime’s 200m record-setting time of 1:47.10 qualifies him to join the Olympics. Amazing.

Studying the numbers further, if we look back and check the 2012 London Games winning times, the gold medalist (Yannick Angel of France) won with a time of 1:43.14. The eighth and final placer in the 200-meter Final clocked 1:47.75. This means that Maxime swam faster than one of the Olympic finalists. Amazing.

To add to his list of Phelps-like achievements, just last Friday at the 2015 FINA World Junior Championships in Singapore, he joined the US 4 x 200 relay of Team USA. The result: Gold. And another world junior record. According to the website www.swimswam.com, “Rooney’s excellent split actually would have made the U.S. relay at Worlds, a team that won silver. Rooney would have been the third-best split on that relay behind Ryan Lochte and Conor Dwyer.”

Imagine being mentioned in the same line as the great Ryan Lochte, someone who has amassed five Olympic gold medals, three silver and three bronze.

Maxime’s 200m relay time? It’s 1:46.55.

Incredible for one who’s only 17 years old.

Lightning Bolt

Usain-Bolt

(Reuters photo)

Last Sunday, right after a late night dinner with Jasmin, I hurried upstairs to switch on the TV. It was the IAAF World Championships — an event that happens only once every 24 months. Next to the Olympics, this gathering is the most prestigious. It’s being held at the Bird’s Nest in Beijing — the same 80,000-seater arena that Jasmin and I were at seven Augusts ago when China hosted the Olympics.

In this August 22 to 30 tournament, one spectacle is the most awaited. It’s the quickest-running event. It’s the shortest, in terms of time elapsed. But, if we speak of drama and adrenaline, nothing is grander.

It’s the 100-meter dash. The winner gets to be called “The World’s Fastest Man.” Of our planet’s 7.37 billion inhabitants, imagine being that one human being who’s fastest?

This year and last year, one person has been the earth’s quickest. No, he’s not Mr. Bolt (we’ll get to him later). He’s Justin Gatlin. He stands 6-foot-1 and weighs 183 lbs. He was born in New York and resides in Orlando but he’s most at home on the rubberized circle called the track oval.

Before Sunday, Gatlin was undefeated in 28 races since Sept. 2013. Though no longer young at 33 years old, Gatlin was also the quickest during qualifying, posting a 9.77-sec. time in the semis.

Usain Bolt? He was recovering from a leg injury (“a blocked sacroiliac joint which restricts his movement and puts pressure on his knee and ankle.”) And so last Sunday, it was a head-to-head battle between Bolt and Gatlin. What made this fight more enticing was this: There was a “good” vs. “evil” plot.

Bolt is good. Not only on the track but he’s never tested positive for drugs. He’s as clean as Lance Armstrong was “dirty.” Gatlin is the opposite. Back in 2001, he tested positive for drugs. But during that time, the regulators concluded that he was given medicine to treat his attention deficit disorder; something he’s been diagnosed with since he was nine. He was absolved. But not in 2006 when the 2004 Athens Olympic champion tested positive again. This time, there was no escape. It was for testosterone and, while the IAAF asked for an 8-year ban, he was sentenced to four. He was banned from 2006 to 2010.

When Gatlin returned, capturing bronze at the 2012 London Games and silver at the world championships two years ago in Moscow, he was criticized as a drug cheat. Thus, the good vs. evil setting.

Fast forward to the 100m race last weekend, you know what happened: Gatlin, in the last 15 meters and while neck to neck with Bolt, appeared to have stumbled and leaned too early.

Bolt won gold with a time of 9.79. Gatlin snatched the No. 2 spot — losing by 0.01 seconds! Ouch. To add to Gatlin’s misery, his fellow Jamaican Asafa Powell, himself a former drug cheat who was banned six months last year, said: “No one wanted Gatlin to win.”

He’s right. Everybody loves Bolt and nobody roots for a former drug cheat.

“I never doubt myself,” said Bolt, after the win that was hailed by sprint legend Michael Johnson as “Usain Bolt’s best race ever.”

Bolt added: “I know my ability. It wasn’t a perfect race but I got it done. I definitely think this was my hardest race. I’ ve been through a lot this season, it’s been rough and Justin been running great showing up running fast times. I knew it wouldn’t be easy.”

This victory solidifies Bolt’s standing as the greatest sprinter of all time. He holds the 100m world record of 9.58. By comparison, Eric Cray holds the Phil. record at 10.25, which he set last June at the SEA Games in Singapore.

(On a personal note, our family is such a huge Bolt fan that we named our only dog (a chocolate Labrador Retriever) after him. It helped that we got “Bolt” on Aug. 8, 2012 — the day when Bolt won gold in London.)

On Bolt-Gatlin, the contest isn’t finished. There’s the 200-meter final. It’s at 8:55 p.m. tonight. If you have cable TV, it’s being shown live. Let’s watch it!

Dr. iRONman Eullaran

He does not possess the lean physique of an Antonio San Juan nor has he finished the New York City Marathon and numerous other 42-K races like Vicente Verallo. But what this fellow doctor of Tony and Vic possesses, like the two, is a determination and willpower that cannot be bought or taught in Med School.

Dr. Ronald Navaja Eullaran joined the Cobra Ironman 70.3 race. I call him “Partner” because, together with Dr. Ronnie Medalle, we are the best of friends. Two Sundays ago, we left our homes at Ma. Luisa at 4 a.m. and did a convoy towards Shangri-La.

Our journey towards swimming 1.9 kms., biking 90-K and running a half-marathon began 12 months ago. After we joined the IM70.3 relay event (with Rap Sios-e as swimmer, Ron as biker and myself as runner), we vowed to join again in 2015; this time, as individual participants.

Ron and I trained. We’d bike the hills of Ma. Luisa. Often, we’d swim in Casino Español on early evenings. Ron has no problems biking. (It was him, many years back during one of our Rotary Club of Cebu West meetings, who invited me to go mountain-biking.) So, of the three sports, biking was his strength. Last year, given only a few weeks’ notice since we registered late, he finished the 90K distance in 3:40.

Running? This was a concern. Swimming? An even bigger concern.

With running, he was convinced by his wife, my childhood friend Raycia Patuasi Eullaran — a many-time half-marathoner and a 42K finisher of the Cebu Marathon — to join the Sunday fun runs. From 5K to 10K to 21K, he ran. Never mind if his time was not the fastest (3 hours, 10+ minutes for the 21K), he endured the leg pains — all for the bigger goal to be an Ironman.

His two main challenges were his workload and his body weight. Working all day and night, often past 9 p.m., he didn’t have extra time to train, not even on Saturdays. Worse, because he loved to eat (who doesn’t?), despite the increasing hours that he spent on exercising, he wasn’t losing 10 or 20 lbs. like the other triathletes. Undeterred, he pressed on.

With the swim, although he came from Gen. Santos City and grew up near the sea and swam often as a child, he wasn’t a fast swimmer. In the numerous occasions when we swam — often at the Costabella Tropical Beach Resort — though he was unafraid to swim in deep waters and swam steady, his only problem was he was a slow swimmer.

For the Ironman 70.3 race, this posed a problem. There was a cutoff time of 70 minutes. No matter how well-trained you are for the bike, you won’t be allowed to mount your Cervelo if you exceed the time limit.

Ron was deeply concerned with missing the swim cutoff. The Thursday before the race, we practiced in Shangri-La together with Melbourne Ironman Meyrick Jacalan and Jojo Veloso and while the three of us had long finished, he was still on the water, toiling hard with his freestyle.

But mental strength can often work wonders. As one saying goes, “The river cuts through rock not because of its power but its persistence.”

Ron, like a rock, is persistent. He showed this last May when we joined the 8080 race in Sogod. Having slept a total of one hour (he was called at midnight to rush to Chong Hua Hospital and attend to a patient), he could have called me early morning to say he won’t join. He joined. He finished last in the swim (taking over an hour to complete 1.8-K) and, as darkness fell and everybody else was having dinner and drinking San Mig Light, he arrived as the last finisher. Downtrodden? Not Ron, never. All-smiling and accompanied by his two legs named grit and tenacity, he crossed the finish to thunderous applause as Steve and Maricel Maniquis and Quinito Moras of the Cornerstone Group ignited the fireworks. Amazing determination to complete 80.8 kms. (1.8K swim, 65K bike and 14K run) — despite an hour of sleep.

But that was just the preliminary bout because the main event happened last Aug. 2. With the swim, given the current, I thought my best friend would be cutoff. But, I saw him on the bike. I knew he was a good cyclist but I was worried with his running. With the sun so hot, he’d be cooked. But, ever the fighter like his fellow GenSan native Pacquiao, Ron ran. With doggedness, he crossed the finish line and a medal was hung on his shoulders, finishing 10 minutes before the cutoff to become the country’s only “Ironman Rheumatologist.” Fitting because his name is embedded with the celebrated word: I-Ron-man.

In David vs. Goliath fight, Yao Ming beats Pacquiao

Head to head, if we compare our 100-million-strong nation to the 1,400-million strong giant that’s China, we’re dwarfed. That’s why we appealed to the heart. Puso. We spoke about our heart. Our puso. That, despite our smallness and lack of height — both as a people, compared to Westerners; and as a nation, compared to China — that we have the heart. The fighting spirit.

We came so close. If this were an Olympic contest, we reached the finals. The gold was within our reach. But, in the end last Friday, when the FIBA Central Board gathered to decide on the host of the FIBA Basketball World Championships four years from now, we lost.

As close as we were, the final tally wasn’t close. It was 14-7. Heading towards Tokyo last week, I’m sure the members of the FIBA board already decided on which letters to choose: CHN or PHL.

As important as the final presentations were, I’m sure there was intense lobbying in the months prior to last weekend. The final vote was a formality. Still, what an accomplishment. As my colleague (and sports editor) Mike Limpag aptly put it last Sunday, the Philippines will have a mighty difficult time hosting an event as huge as, say, the Asian Games (with 10,000 athletes). But the FIBA World Cup — given that as few as four venues make us eligible — was within our grasp.

If there’s one video clip that you ought to see, it’s this one: “FIBA 2019: Philippines’ bid presentation.” Go to YouTube, type those words and you’ll be treated to an inspiring and enthusiastic presentation. I don’t want to be a “movie spoiler” but the show and the words uttered were outstanding. If the contest revolved purely on presentation, we’d have won.

Manny V. Pangilinan opened the 20-minute final proposal. Highly-respected not only in the business community but also in the basketball world, MVP spoke of this day being one of his proudest.

Lou Diamond Phillips was very, very passionate. Born in Subic, the movie actor and director was animated. He spoke from the heart when he talked about the Filipino heart. Next up was the man who best symbolizes the small-player/big-heart of the Pinoys. He’s Jimmy Alapag. He was fluent and motivating. Coach Chot Reyes was also very passionate. Finally, the most famous Pinoy on earth, it was Manny Pacquiao who pitched for us. Watch the video! You’ll enjoy it and will feel inspired.

Had the Phils. won the bidding, it would have been a major, major 2019 for Cebu sports. Because apart from the Phil. Arena, the Smart Araneta Coliseum and SM’s  MOA Arena, our very own SM Seaside City Arena would have been the fourth venue. Imagine the world’s greatest ballplayers (NBA stars) visiting?

In the end, China was too big and Yao Ming was too tall an opponent. China’s eight city-venues and world-class infrastructure — plus, this will be their first-ever FIBA World Cup hosting — were too compelling.

I thought our age-old Pinoy adage “Give others a chance” would come into play. China hosted the 2008 Olympic Summer Games. Come 2022, they’ll host the Winter Olympic Games. Maybe the decision-makers will choose the Philippines, to give “others a chance?” Ha-ha. No chance.

Biking and running the Cobra IM70.3 race

I peed on my shorts while standing in the middle of the transition area. I wasn’t inside the restroom or Portalet – I stood public beside my bike, all-needing to unload that liquid off my bladder and it was the fastest way to pee. Yes, it’s one of those crazy, no-choice, I-have-to-go moments doing this crazy, our-choice, let’s-go sport of triathlon.

While swimming the harrowing 1.9-km. leg of the Cobra Ironman 70.3 race the other Sunday, I felt like peeing. But, given the effort and the challenges while swimming, nothing would come out. And so, bahala na, I did it beside the bike. (Good thing I still had the sense to do it before putting on my cycling shoes! Ha-ha.) No wonder, together with eating a banana and Cloud 9 chocolates, I took over nine minutes for this transition phase.

Off the bike we sped. Passing through the Mactan Newtown Megaworld complex, we headed out towards the airport road. If you’re a long-time fan of this sport that involves pedalling and crouching low and embracing the wind, you’ll love the bike portion of the Half-Ironman. No cars, no tricycles criss-crossing the road; the asphalted and cemented roads are all yours for the morning. In no other time of the year other than the first Sunday of August can you experience this.

Climbing the Marcelo Fernan Bridge is a highlight. It’s not a difficult ascent; it’s gradual and it offers a view of the channel and the cities of Mandaue and Cebu that you can’t find anywhere else.

My complaint was this: While heading down the bridge, all the bikers are crammed in one lane of one side of the road. Unlike the previous time I joined the bike (three years ago, during the 2012 edition), the entire side was closed for the cyclists. While manuevering down, a portion of the buntings that helped cordon the road was blown away; it cut further the road space and made it scary when the elite cyclists started heading back at the opposite direction.

Plaridel St. in Mandaue City, that stretch of a few hundred meters that was littered with potholes, wasn’t too bad. They cleared the newly-cemented portion and let us traverse there. Good move. And I’m sure this portion will be fully-cemented in 2016.

Passing the SRP Tunnel while pedalling on two thin wheels is an unforgettable experience that only those who participated can explain. As you enter, the bright sunlight from outside turns dark. Screams from eager triathletes echo and bounce off the walls. It’s both eerie and exhilarating. And it passes quickly; after one kilometer, you’re out, back to sunbathe.

The South Road Properties (SRP) segment is enjoyable. Again, completely no-vehicles, no spectators running. (The scary moments are when kids shout for you to throw your empty water bottles and they run in the middle of the road to grab them.)

The route was “M” shaped, meaning it’s twice an out-and-back loop (towards the tip of Talisay and back to Parkmall, twice); it meant that heading towards Talisay City, you’d experience headwinds but coming back, you’d be easy-pedaling because of the wind pushing you from behind.

To me, my two prayers to the Lord were not to crash and not to get into mechanical trouble. Though most participants brought along inner tubes and bike pumps, a flat busted tire can often mean the end of your adventure. I biked easy and relaxed. Knowing that there still loomed a 21-K run after 90 kms. of biking, I knew I had to reserve energy. Upon reaching T2 (Transition 2, bike-to-run), you’re all thankful to God for keeping you safe.

After changing footwear to running shoes, you’re off unaided by the bike. And the question starts: What happened to the rain? Forecasts declared a 60 percent chance of rain. Instead, the sun melted the gray clouds and exposed itself to bake the runners. It was a hot, good-for-sunbathing day. Unlike most Fun Runs that start at 5 a.m., at the IM70.3 event, you’re starting mid-day. I started around 12 noon. Can you imagine, after that swim and bike, running a half-marathon from 12 to 3 p.m.?

Luckily for the runners, there was plenty of shade found along Punta Engano, starting from Shangri-La down to Be Resort, until you reach the end. The challenge arrives when you enter Amisa and Discovery Bay and are forced to run naked, with no tree cover. The run is two loops. After you conquer these scorching hot portions and head back to Shangri-La, you’ve got to do it again. It’s a physical and mental Mt. Everest. All this time, you drink Gatorade and bathe yourself in ice and water.

By the end of the first loop, I was cramping; I walked, slow-jogged, strolled. Around Km. 15 and after consuming multiple GU energy gels, I felt like vomiting with the thought of swallowing another Gu gel. (Since I had lost my watch during the swim, I repeatedly had to resort to asking the spectators for the time.) I needed to take something refreshing. What? I thought.

Coke! Ha-ha. I love this drink and I know it would re-energize me. Forgetting to bring money, I had to plead from a store owner to loan me a Coke. It certainly helped because moments later, I felt better and was able to take the Gu. This, I know, is true: Coke adds life.

Finally, starting at 7 a.m. and finishing at nearly 3 p.m., I crossed the finish line fully exhausted, near-dizzy but enveloped with that indescribable sense of fulfillment that can only be felt by those who suffered the same.

Surviving the Ironman 70.3 Swim

Of the three disciplines in this multi-sport craze that has positively afflicted our nation and the sporting world — I’m referring, of course, to triathlon — to me, the most difficult is the swim.

Biking and running, I’ve always enjoyed. I grew up pedalling BMW bikes with my brother Charlie in Bacolod City. Running, thanks to those elementary days dribbling the basketball in La Salle, is easy and natural. We are land-based creatures and cycling and jogging are not performed at sea. The swim? Unlike others who grew up on water, my comfort level when wearing goggles and moving forward horizontally is bad. In my two previous triathlon events (the “8080” races organized by Steve Maniquis and the Cornerstone Group), the stress levels just thinking of the swim were “high tide.”

I joined the Cobra Energy Drink Ironman 70.3 race last Sunday. How was the swim?Brutal. Scary. Difficult. Physically and mentally exhausting.

I positioned myself among the very last triathletes to do the swim. Since the new ruling was no longer based on your age grouping but on your “expected split times,” I didn’t want to get swum over by faster swimmers. I stayed at the back and chatted with Atty. Jess Garcia.

As I stepped on the timing mat before entering the water, I checked my watch. It read “7:00.” Good, I told myself. It will be easier for me to check the cutoff time of one hour 10 minutes. That would be at 8:10 a.m.

The first 100 meters was a straight path. I swam relaxed. Having warmed-up properly, I deliberately swam slow. “Relax, relax, relax” were the words my mind uttered to itself. Surprisingly, the start was easy. Wow. If it will continue like this, it will be a good day. At the end of the initial start, we all turned left. This time, it was a 400-meter stretch. (The entire swim is 1.9 kms.) Even better, the current was behind us and many swam in long and smooth strokes. Yes! Upon reaching the giant yellow buoy, we turned to deeper waters for another 50 meters.

After that short path, we turned right. This stretch, the longest in the rectangular-shaped route, was 850 meters. This was when the torture started.

You’re swimming free-style, punching one arm after another into the Hilutungan Channel, trying to move forward — but you’re barely moving. You exert more effort; slow-motion, fatiguing, arduous. Worse, you’re not swimming in a wide ocean that’s free of obstacles. In front of you are fellow strugglers. To your left is someone doing a wide-open breast-stroke. To your right is another swimmer. Behind you is someone pulling your leg.All this time, you’re surrounded by bubbles and splashes and waves and kicks.

The key word is “relax” but how can you when you’re struggling and barely moving forward?I was hit in the face where my goggles got dislodged. Once — not to the same swimmer and it was accidental — I elbowed hard a participant’s nose. That hurt. I wanted to apologize but he just kept on going.

Many times, I held the buoy just to keep afloat. Five seconds later and having taken a few deep breaths, you’re off again. This isn’t an all-day-I-can-relax Sunday. There’s a time limit and the current was too strong.

My improvised strategy was to breakdown the long stretch into short segments. Big red buoys would be recognizable (in between were the smaller yellow ones). “Just swim to the red buoy!” would be my mantra.Midway through the route, I saw Tinago Brgy. Captain Joel Garganera. We both complained. But there was no choice: either you go or quit.

Slowly, meter-by-meter, red buoy after yellow buoy and swimming like a cha-cha dance where you’d move forward then backward then forward, we charged on. Towards the end of the 850-meter stretch, just when we were yards away from the big yellow marker, people were shouting. A jetski and several boats circled the area. Waves grew taller and the current was at its worst. We were told to cross to the other side. I had to shout to a boat marshal so I could hang-on for a few seconds.

After crossing, I checked my watch. It read “8:02.” Oh no! I was dangerously close to being cutoff. With the current behind our backs, we torpedoed as hard as we could. It was the final few hundred meters. Luckily, as I reached the shore, I made it in1:08. The sad part was: I lost my watch. While going all-out in this final stretch, it must have been hit by a fellow swimmer or just fell off my wrist. And this was the inaugural (2012) Timex commemorative edition given by Princess G. Anyway, after surviving the swim, I trudged on.

A FEW THOUGHTS…

BE PROUD. To all who braved the waters last Sunday, finisher or not, kudos to you! Everybody concludes that, in the seven-year history of IM70.3 Philippines (three in CamSur and four in Cebu), that was the toughest swim leg.

DISTANCE. I did a quick survey with some friends on the swim distance and a few recorded a distance of 2.2 kms. Jonel Borromeo’s Garmin recorded that length. A friend told me his was 2.5K. It might have been the back-and-forth due to the strong current; I’m not sure if the rope/buoys got carried farther because of the current.

STAGGERED SWIM START. I think this is favorable to the participants. The idea that you can swim alongside your coach or spouse (as many did), or at least swim with those of the same ability — that’s good. I believe this is better than a “mass start” (the same one as the previous years).

As explained in the excellent blog by Betsy Medalla (justaddwaterph.blogspot.com), the problem was that majority of the swimmers swam that 850-stretch around 7:30 a.m. onwards. We swam during the worst possible two hours of the month of August. As we say in Bisaya, “Malas lang gyud” (just plain unlucky).

Given the low/high tide information, the only thing the organizers could have done differently was to reverse the sequence. The slowest swimmers swim first! The elite triathletes swim last — and they’ll endure the current.Ha ha. This would have provided us (slower ones) with calm waters at the start. Obviously, this is a preposterous idea. Not possible. But there’s nothing much the organizers could have done, except….

TIME EXTENSION. Good that the organisers extended the time. Can you imagine if they did not? Hundreds and hundreds would have been cutoff — you can easily check it by scanning through the finishing times in the website. Some exceeded1:30 or 1:40. Because this 70-minute (timing chip) cutoff time ruling was disregarded, this favored those who swam earlier. They had extra time (head start) compared to those who started at the back..

(QUESTION: Why only 70 mins. cutoff for the swim? And a generous 4:30+ for the bike? There should be more “allowance” for the swim…)

NEXT YEAR… For the August 7, 2016 race (Asia-Pacific Championships), I checked the tide chart and it looks to be very favorable.

Next year: Low tide of 0.3 meters is at 7:09 a.m. (right smack when the majority of the swimmers are in the water). High tide at 1.6 meters is still at 1:26 p.m. This compares to last Sunday when the low tide was an early 5:32 a.m. This one hour 37-minute gap should be very favorable to us. Hopefully (barring other weather factors such as typhoon, etc.), the Mactan waters next year should be kinder..

Conclusion: In 2016, perfect conditions to Tri’ again!